A Children's Story on Scientific Reductionism.

Loren Haarsma (lhaarsma@retina.anatomy.upenn.edu)
Wed, 4 Mar 1998 08:47:37 -0500 (EST)

[From "How Long is God's Nose? and 89 Other Story Sermons for Children"
by John Timmer (Zondervan Publishing, Grand Rapids, 1997)]

Who Does the Playing?
Once upon a time there was a father mouse and a mother mouse and
their two children, Know-It-All and I-Know-Better. They lived inside a
piano, where life was very quiet until one day, their whole world was
suddenly filled with music. When the music stopped, Father Mouse said,
"Wasn't that beautiful? Only God can make music like that." Mother
Mouse and the two children agreed. They said, "Who else but God can
make such beautiful music?"
Then one day, daughter Know-It-All came back from exploring the
piano. She said, "God doesn't make the beautiful music we're hearing.
Wires do. I saw wires inside the piano. They are the secret. When
they tremble and vibrate, they make music."
Because Know-It-All was very smart, the others believed her. They
no longer believed that God made the beautiful music. They believed
that the wires did.
Then one day, son I-Know-Better came back from exploring the piano.
Even though I-Know-Better was not as smart as his sister Know-It-All,
he was no dummy. He always knew what he was talking about. "Guess
what!" he told the family. "Wires don't make the music. Piano hammers
do. Piano hammers are the secret. When they dance on the wires, they
make the music."
"Well," Mother Mouse said, "then we'd better change what we
believe." And that's what they did. They no longer believed that the
wires made the music. They believed that the piano hammers did.
Then one day, Father Mouse came back from exploring the piano.
"Guess what!" he said. "Guess who makes all the music! Not the wires.
Not the piano hammers. It's the woman who lives in this house!
Through a tiny hole I saw her. I saw her hitting the outside of the
piano with her two hands, and suddenly I heard beautiful music."
So once again, the mice changed what they believed. It was not God
who made the music. It was not the wires. It was not the piano
hammers. No, it was the woman who lived in the house.
That evening after the music had stopped, Know-It-All suddenly
asked, "If the woman makes the piano hammers go and if the piano
hammers make the wires go, I wonder what makes the woman go?"
That was a very good question. The mouse family talked about it
for hours. Finally, Mother Mouse said, "I think God does. I think God
moves the woman to hit the outside of the piano so that beautiful music
fills our world."
"You are right," the others said. And from then on the family of
mice once again thanked God for all the beautiful music they heard.